When you do an order in China, don’t forget that it WILL be inspected at some point. The four possibilities are as follows:
1.) The vendor inspects the order.
2.) You inspect the order in China or at your warehouse.
3.) You have a third party do the inspection in China.
4.) If no one inspects the order ultimately it will be your customer who does the inspection.
# 4 is obviously what you want to avoid at all costs.
# 1 is also not a good option because most vendors cannot be counted on to do a good job of inspecting orders. They often do not understand the quality standards of the markets they are exporting to and they are interested in shipping an order ASAP so they can get paid.
So basically it comes down to # 2 or # 3. Let’s look at both.
# 2 – If you inspect the order you can do so when it gets to your warehouse or you can inspect at the factory in China. There are costs associated with each. If you inspect the order at your warehouse you have to pay and in some cases train workers to do the inspection and then you have to pay them to repair defective units. So if, for example, you get a 10,000 pc order from China and you have to inspect it and repair a significant amount of product you are looking at major costs. Not to mention the costs you will incur from lost sales and frustrated customers. I have one customer who has spent hundreds of hours over the last year repairing a big order he received from China. It seems the vendor forgot to trim a part of the product so my customer has to do this himself. I imagine that whenever he has a spare moment he goes into his warehouse and does a few more pcs. I cannot put a price on his time but I am sure it has cost him thousands of dollars to do this.
If you inspect the order in China, you simply need to pay your travel expenses to China. The factory will repair all defective units on site and will not charge you for these repairs. You may end up hanging around the factory for a week but you will be able to sleep at night knowing that what is going to be delivered to you is what you ordered.
# 3 – In some ways using an inspection company is a good alternative to making the trip to China to inspect yourself. Most inspection companies charge $ 150.00 – $ 300, 00 per day per inspector. The only caveat with an inspection company is that they really do not understand your product like you do. For any design-driven product, using an inspection company is probably not the way to go.
When all things are considered there is much to be said for just hopping on a plane and going to China to do the inspection yourself.